The Challenge

As the Internet of Things (IoT) grows with innovative products, so does the need for contract engineering and manufacturing support. Milwaukee Electronics' Design Engineering Group is expert in helping companies turn great ideas into manufacturable, cost competitive products. A manufacturer of business-to-business loT control solutions turned to Milwaukee for assistance with their company's first product, a LED lighting control.

The customer's previous supplier was having difficulty providing working prototypes and they were looking a company with a co-located engineering and manufacturing capability to handle re-layout of the product's three printed circuit board assembly (PCBA) set based on their schematics, review the current bill of materials (BOM) for obsolescence risk and cost reduction, recommend any changes and build the pilot production run.

The Process

Following the project launch session, Milwaukee Electronics started reviewing the first board schematic design and bill of materials for cost reduction. The project engineer identified areas of design improvement in the first PCBA suggested changes to circuit designs in the first two PCBAs that would result in cost reduction while maintaining or improving the circuit functionality. On the third PCBA, the Milwaukee Electronics’ team recommended a completely different circuit topology that provided improved functionality which reduced the firmware requirements, provided significant component cost reductions and reduction in the PCBA footprint which enabled the modular assembly to fit into the final enclosure.

The Solution

The customer approved the changes and the expanded scope of work quote. Milwaukee Electronics proceeded with the 3-board set design upgrades and cost reductions. To help reduce time since the first two PCBAs were very similar, prototypes were built and tested only for the first and third PCBAs in the set. The second PCBA was built as part of a 100-piece run of pilot units. Elimination of the almost identical prototype phase for the second PCBA reduced prototype tooling requirements and build cost.

The Results

The customer is presently testing and evaluating the Milwaukee Electronics provided units. Because the customer was responsible for all firmware requirements for this 3-board set, Milwaukee Electronics set up an on-site test area where the customer’s project engineer could work directly with Milwaukee Electronics’ staff. The result was the elimination of weeks of test time.

Milwaukee Electronics also provided the design and development of the plastic enclosure for the unit. The production launch dates for this product family is scheduled for early Q3 of 2016.

Power-over-Ethernet Interface Board